Teams from the Vietnam Championship Series will not participate in the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. The Vietnamese teams are concerned that they would not be allowed to re-enter the country after the competition due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Teams from the Vietnam Championship Series will not participate in the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. The tournament is scheduled to take place in Shanghai from September 25. The Vietnamese teams are concerned that they would not be allowed to re-enter the country after the competition due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It is likely that Riot Games will move forward with a 22-team tournament instead of 24 teams. Like the NBA’s Orlando bubble, Riot Games plans to conduct the competition in similar conditions due to the spread of the virus across China.
Riot’s director of operations Tom Martell issued a statement regarding the withdrawal. “Earlier this month we shared with you our plans for Worlds, but due to national travel restrictions related to COVID-19, our two qualifying teams from Vietnam will, unfortunately, be unable to travel to Shanghai to compete this season,” the statement read. “As a result of these changes, we will have 22 rather than 24 teams challenging for the championship title this year. We are incredibly disappointed on behalf of these teams who worked so hard all year for the chance to compete on the global stage. While it certainly will not replace the experience for them, we will be awarding them their full share of the prize pool as though they had participated in the event.”
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the dynamics of esports across the world, including League of Legends, as competitions have moved from a LAN format to online play. The LCK, Korea’s premier League of Legends tournament, started the summer split as a LAN event but soon moved to the online format for the playoffs. The majority of the LPL was conducted as an in-person event though. The LEC and the LCS have been online right through their respective summer splits.
According to ESPN, “currently, Vietnam holds one seed in the main event stage and one seed in the play-in stage based off of recent international performances in the past few years. How their withdrawal from the world championship will affect their future seeding at other events is undetermined.”
Earlier this year, Riot Games was forced to cancel their Mid-Season Invitational due to the pandemic. Instead, a week-long Mid-Season Cup was conducted, with teams from China and Korea participating from their respective countries.